• Dec 22nd 2010 at 9:01AM
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It's a classic dichotomy – automakers need to build both the kinds of cars consumer want to buy and also the kinds of cars the policymakers tell them they have to build. And oftentimes, these two segments don't exactly meet in the middle. Such is seemingly the case in California, where the Global Warming Solutions Act will soon force automakers that wish to remain in business in the state to drastically lower carbon emissions while also producing significant numbers of zero emissions vehicles.

That's all well and good, and automakers do in fact support the move towards greener vehicles. The problem, according to just about every party involved – including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the California New Car Dealers Association, J.D. Power and Associates and even automakers like Honda and Toyota – is getting the mass of consumers to purchase these government-mandated green vehicles.

What's the answer? "That is the $64,000 question," notes Toyota's U.S. boss Jim Lentz. While it may be true that nobody knows for sure, any number of ideas are being bandied about to sweeten the deal for consumers. Ward's Automotive reports that proposals as diverse as tax breaks for fuel efficient cars, access to coveted HOV lanes or added incentives for scrapping older cars in favor of greener rides are all being considered. And this is all assuming California's well-known budget woes don't put an end to the legislative push for automotive efficiency. No matter the case, it would seem we'll be in for a wild – and hopefully fuel efficient – ride.

[Source: Ward's Automotive | Image: Brett L. via cc 2.0]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      A question: if the people of California don't want to buy these cars, then why, pray tell, are they voting in representatives who propose things like this.

      It means either that Californians actually do want these programs in place, which is their right to choose, or they'd turf these people out in favour of, oh, I don't know, gun-totin', freedom-lovin' real Americans. That they haven't is California's and it's citizen's business.

      The automakers also have the right to ignore the largest car market in North America. If they don't want to sell cars to California, or the states that follow CARB's guidelines, in favour of appealing to the whims of non-CARB states, well, they're free to do this. But recall that the people who make money and buy cars tend to live in California, New York and suchlike, while aside from Texas, the non-CARB states are economically irrelevant by comparison.

      The moral of the story? This is democracy and capitalism at work. If people outside of California and the CARB states don't like it, they should vote with their dollars and buy more cars and/or more cars at higher profit than the CARB zone does. If they can't do that, well, that's not California's nor the automaker's fault.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "A question: if the people of California don't want to buy these cars, then why, pray tell, are they voting in representatives who propose things like this?"

        Two words: rampant gerrymandering
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a Californian it is my fervent hope that when we collectively realize the impact this has on new car lots -- "sorry, that model is not available in California" -- they'll rebel with a (no doubt poorly-worded) Proposition on the next ballot to undo it. Politics by brinksmanship, it's the only thing we seem to understand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the reason why I would never want to live in California, I hate the way they run their government out there. My older brother has lived out there since 1996 and he's trying to get me (and our mom)to relocate out there but never in a million years. California is just as big of a hot mess as some of the celebrities out there.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The CA lawmakers are taking the emissions standards to the extreme, while making other areas suffer. Stop all CARB, emissions, and other non-essential research funding for a few years and give that money to the schools. School funding gets cut every single year, and the current generation of California kids will be dumb as a rock.

      -A fed-up CA resident.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just look what happens in advanced countries.

      Annual vehicle taxes depend on CO2 levels or engine sizes, the cleanest and smallest vehicles cost almost nothing while taxes for polluting vehicles grow exponentially.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just like the hockey stick being shot down from using false data(read fixed data) Man made GW is and has falllen because of the weak/false science. MMGW is a dollar industry and a political movement based in world control.

      Most people do not want to take the time to go over the science so here are a couple of thumb nail briefs on the false science and political movement from people that do study such.



      Those of you old enough (not many on this site) will remember the time mag cover of the 70s with the ice age comes bs.

        • 4 Years Ago
        A study was done of the New York Times and Time magazine going back to the 1800's. Since then there have been 4 or 5 alternating periods when the "experts": scientists and weather forecasters have said that it was either going to get globally colder or warmer, with the obligatory dire warnings of what this meant for the human race.

        • 4 Years Ago
        I noticed none of your sources are from peer-reviewed journals. By what authority can claim that your belief is correct? Based on your beliefs, it is safe to say, you are obviously not a scientist yourself.

        There are a lot armchair scientists trying to defend a belief, with pseudo-science, and a relatively poor understanding of the practice of science.

        I know of only one, credible scientist that is a AGW skeptic that has made somewhat coherent arguments. However, he comes up short on empirical data to support his point. His name is Richard Lindzen, and overall he is a good scientist. There are also a good number of peer-reviewed scientists that have effectively shot down his argument. You can start with James Hanson. Instead of me telling you exactly what to believe, I suggest you start reading along those lines, and decide for your self. Stay out of the armchair.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Poor bunnies.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Was meant as a reply to andy_george, comment 28...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The expensive part of most vehicles is the cost of owning them. The difference in cost between operating a hybrid vehicle and a conventional vehicle in many cases will not justify the difference in price of the hybrid vehicle. It makes the case for buying used cars all that much better.
      • 4 Years Ago
      First there are loons out there running things. A bankrupt state asking for others(read your) tax dollars.

      Second, this is all based on MAN made global warming which has no sound science to back such a claim. Even the claim of global warming is coming under fire now. Check it out, not just by listening to the news and time mag...

      Third a gas tax is a very very regressive tax, hurting the lower income brackets and the economy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It sucks that the tree-huggin', bunny-humpin' environmentalists can impose their religion onto others. Just makes me more mad every story I read....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seeing all these people rant on about the NWO and climate change conspiracy based on the first google result they found after searching 'global warming isn't real' has prompted me to take action. If you really want to learn something, watch this guys videos. It will take you a while, but believe it or not there's some real, heavy science going on in regards to anthropomorphic climate change; it isn't, as many of you seem to believe, just Al Gore stroking his ego. The videos address every aspect of global climate change, including the climategate e-mails and opposing theories. Have fun.


      BTW, I'm not supporting this policy-it's ridiculous. However to fight it on the grounds of 'global warming is a hoax' shows an incredible ignorance of, well, pretty much everything related to the issues in question.
        • 4 Years Ago
        there is no debate on climate change but climate change has taken place long b4 oil consumption...to plainly blame climate change on the consumption of fossil fuels is purely preposterous...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Time to return California to Mexico.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I would bet most Californians would at first not be against becoming a part of Mexico, except of course most of the Mexican immigrants and illegals who reside in the state.

        Unfortunately for us, I don't think Mexico would want California back!!
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